Compression socks might look like average knee-high socks, but they perform important medical functions. Compression socks have a tighter fit than regular socks in order to apply pressure to the lower legs, facilitating healthier blood flow and preventing body tissues from swelling. Compression socks also help with varicose veins and decrease the risk of blood clots, an especially useful function for post-surgical patients. If your doctor has prescribed the use of compression socks, here are some important things you should know:
What is the right way to wear compression socks?
The most important part of purchasing compression socks is selecting the correct size. Properly fitting compression socks should have a snug fit, but not too tight, and they shouldn’t slide down or bunch up—if they do, you might need a smaller size. On the other hand, if they are ineffective in reducing swelling or helping with other medical conditions, you might have the right size but need socks with stronger compression. Compression socks are worn the way you would wear regular socks, and should fit just as comfortably in your shoes. The length of time you wear them will depend on your doctor’s recommendation.
How should you put on compression socks?
Compression socks are a bit more complicated than regular socks, so the best way to put them on is to sit on a chair with a firm back so you have something strong to lean against. First, turn the sock inside out, then place your toes at the end and gently slide the sock over your heel. Use your fingertips or palms to slowly roll and slide the sock all the way up your leg, being careful not to grab and pull the top of the sock, which can cause it to rip or tear.
Can compression socks hurt you?
Wearing compression socks should never be painful. If they are so tight that they hurt, the size might be too small or the compression level might be too tight. If the compression socks cause discomfort in your toes, consider wearing an open-toe style. Additionally, pain behind the knee is usually the result of the socks bunching up in the crevice, which could mean you need a different size.
Should you sleep in compression socks?
If you wear compression socks for vein and circulation issues, you can wear them all day and take them off when you go to bed—the socks aren’t as effective for those purposes when you’re laying down. However, for people wearing compression socks to prevent blood clots after surgery, doctors typically recommend wearing low-strength socks at night as well.
How do you wash compression socks?
Compression socks are made from specially designed flexible material, so they need to be washed with care. Either hand wash or wash them on the gentle cycle of your machine with cold water, and then air dry. Whether you’re wearing compression socks regularly or on a temporary basis, it’s a good idea to have at least two pairs so you can wear a clean pair while the other is air-drying.
Where can you buy compression socks?
Whether you’re treating varicose veins, recovering from surgery, or using compression socks to help with other medical conditions, Avondale HME has a large selection in various sizes and strengths to meet your needs. We also sell and rent a variety of medical equipment, so check out our extensive inventory today.